Lock Them Up and Throw Away the Key: New Legislation Can Help Protect Child Victims of Sex Crimes from Harsh Punishment

By: Trisha R. Delos Santos, 3L, UNLV Law School 

Child victims of sexual trafficking and sexual assault are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. It is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 children in the United States who are commercially exploited each year. What happens when these children fight back against those who abuse, exploit, and traffic them? In America, there are no special exceptions for minors who commit crimes against their abusers. In turn, they are prosecuted as adults and face decades in prison. This article discusses recent legislative reform efforts in Nevada and around the country to protect child sex crime victims from facing harsh punishment in the adult criminal justice system.

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